The number of US households with direct high speed fibre internet connections has surpassed the 2 million mark, according to a study released this week by the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

According to the figures, 2.14 million US homes – or nearly 2 per cent of households in the country – are now connected to the internet via end to end fibre. This compares to just over 1 million connections at the end of September 2006, meaning that the annual growth rate has increased to 112 per cent from the 99 per cent in 2005 to 2006.

Moreover, FTTH is now available to 9.55 million US homes, up from 6.1 million a year ago.

“Clearly, American consumers want what only fibre can deliver – and that is a pipe big enough to handle the high-bandwidth internet and video applications of the future,” said Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council. Savage noted that the number of households that receive video services over their FTTH connections has increased sharply over the past six months, to 1.05 million, for an annual growth rate of about 160 per cent.

Although Verizon continues to lead the US FTTH market with about two thirds of total installations, Savage said that about 369 other service providers are maintaining about a third of the overall market.

“We’re continuing to see small and medium sized telephone companies, cable television companies, municipalities and public electric utilities get into the FTTH game and be highly successful at it,” said Savage.